First London gig for Bi Beo

North Uist band Bi Beo perform at The Green Note in Camden - the group's first London gig.
North Uist band Bi Beo perform at The Green Note in Camden - the group's first London gig.

AN amazing night was had by all at the first London appearance of the North Uist band Bi Beo recently at The Green Note in Camden, London.

Displaying a tighter line-up with new songs ready for the upcoming third album, the audience was treated to a riotous performance as Bi Beo played their new Gaelic song and music in the band’s inimitable up-tempo and reckless style.

The evening’s music promoter, Wallee McDonnell, commented: “Bi Beo brought a little bit of North Uist to the Green Note. How many in London know about music from the Hebrides and a contemporary band singing in Scottish Gaelic at that? But the reviews that I’d read led me to believe they could kick up a storm – and they didn’t disappoint.”

He continued: “Bi Beo comprise an unlikely group of musicians; for this gig they were a quartet of a keyboard player from Bath, an acoustic rhythm guitarist from up-state New York, a lead guitarist from Ireland/UK and the singer from North Uist.

“Their songs stand for themselves and are delivered with passion, humour and tenderness. Rooted in the traditionall of North Uist they are a 21st centurycontemporaryy take on music from this corner of Scotland and it works.

“With no pretensions they engage with their audience like friends and that was the atmosphere throughout the gig.”

From the band’s point of view, singer James MacLetchie commented that last Friday’s show (January 28) was an ideal start to their present agenda to bring their music to a wider audience.

The evening featured a great collection of up-tempo and dancing songs as well as some more serious and reflective compositions like ‘Air Chall’ – which takes a look at the dark and destructive aspects of drink excess in Island life.

Also on the set list were new song ‘Saora’ and established favourites like the ‘Hougharry Reel’.

James, upfront with vocals was in great form whilst Chuck’s 12 string playing was inspired. Kevin’s guitar was bright and forceful and Dave, a recent addition to the band, filled the gaps with well tempered musical insights and infectious rhythms.

Interest in Bi Beo is always growing and the band will be heading further afield again later this year with performances in Holland and Iceland, as well as at the International Cider Festival in Wales in August.

Video clips from the Green Notes gig can be see at